Oct 25, 2016

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Flooring Options for Your Home or Business

Solid wood or engineered? Laminate or Vinyl? Tiles or Carpet? If your looking to modernise your home by changing the flooring you have a multitude of options. Within this post you will find a short run down of the pros and cons of the various options available to you. I’ll cover:

  • Engineered Flooring
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Wooden Flooring
  • Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is still a mainstay of flooring material. Its easy-to-clean surface and range of offered colors and patterns make it a functional, cost-effective and low-maintenance solution. There are various vinyl choices that feature new technology in texturing and durability for a more contemporary and authentic look.

Pros

  • Budget friendly
  • Sturdy – offers “give” and cushioning underfoot
  • Easy to maintain
  • Great deal of colors/patterns available including new textures
  • Very good sound absorbing qualities
  • Can be laid without seams depending upon the size and shape of the room

Cons

  • Not quite as eco-friendly or made with ecological materials as other choices
  • At risk of cuts and tears (i.e. for example when moving/dragging large objects over it such as refrigerators)
  • Not a renewable surface like wood
  • Not heat resistant and can scorch or burn
  • Seamed/tiled vinyl gives paths for spilled liquids to get to the backing and subflooring
  • At the mercy of permanent dents from table and furniture legs and even pointed-heeled boots and shoes
  • Edges and seams might be visible and affect the decorative pattern depending on quality of installation

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring copies the appearance of some other floor materials by employing a picture of real wood, stone or tile engrossed in a wear-protective coating. Some laminates are practically indistinguishable from the real thing while costing a lot less too. There are various brands and products available such as Armstrong laminate, Quick-Step, Shaw and Mannington for starters. Care of laminate flooring is fairly easy, armed with a sweeper and a little understanding on how to care for it.

Pros

  • Durable – some use advanced coatings manufactured to hold up against high-traffic
  • Cheaper than wood especially for higher end exotic woods
  • Can be applied over existing floors
  • ‘Glueless’ laminate is transportable – they can be taken off and reinstalled someplace else (although some guarantees become void if the floor is taken apart over 3 times)
  • Many style solutions both in wood and stone styles
  • Installation process is simple enough for someone with do-it-yourself competencies

CONS

  • Needs full replacement when worn out – no resurfacing possible
  • Seams between planks and edges gift a path for spills/water intrusion which may lead to edge-swell
  • Floating-floor characteristic leads to a hollow sound if no acoustical underlayment is applied

Wood Flooring

wooden floor stair colour chartThe beauty and natural variability of real wood flooring is difficult to beat. There is a whole world of choices available with wooden floors beginning with varieties like maple, oak, hickory, and birch to the exotic woods like Merbau, Jatoba and Teak.

If those possibilities don’t resonate with you what about floor surfaces made from old growth Douglas Fir, antique wide plank heart pine or even extinct American Chestnut? Reclaimed wood flooring gives these options using wood salvaged from sunken logs, old structures and other related sources. There’s a bonus too in that it’s an eco-friendly choice since no new trees are consumed.

You also have a choice on whether to apply solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood is just what the name suggests – solid throughout. Engineered wood includes a top layer of real wood bonded to various other layers of wood beneath it, a lot like plywood. Solid wood can be bought prefinished or it can be finished on-site using unfinished hardwood stock. Engineered wood is normally bought prefinished. Solid wood and some engineered wood floors are capable of being refinished repeatedly.

PROS

  • Durable and long-lasting specially when well-maintained
  • Renewable – could be refinished many times
  • Wide diversity of style choices available from stain color to sort of wood species
  • Provides a warmer feel than stone, tile or concrete
  • Cost effective choice in the long run resulting from it’s renewability
  • Pre-finished wood does not require on-site finishing and its associated inconveniences

 

CONS

  • Liable to scratches and wear from grit and dirt
  • Susceptible to damage from lengthened presence of moisture and liquids (not advised for the bathroom)
  • Can develop squeaks and creaks as time passes on account of loosening between the wood and nails that fasten the planks to the subfloor
  • Susceptible to gaps or “cupping” (curving of the wood surface) with normal humidity changes if poorly installed

Carpets

Carpeting offers a warmth and gentleness not found in other surfacing options but it’s certainly not for all applications. Carpeting not only comes in a multitude of colors and patterns but in many various textures as well, rendering it a versatile style option. There’s plenty of options too, from well-known manufacturers like Karastan®, Shaw®, Mohawk® and others. There’s even carpets for children. New synthetic fiber technology provides you better choices for stain resistance, greater resiliency and even “green” carpeting options. If natural fibers appeal to your interest, wool carpeting is still the measure that all synthetic carpets aim to imitate, with natural resilience, durability and softness.

PROS

 

  • Comfy material from a tactile and aesthetic point of view
  • Endless variety of styles, colors, patterns and textures from which to choose in addition to a number of different fiber types
  • Quiet – acts as a great sound insulator
  • Softer surface gives greater cushion and can protect against injury from falls (particularly with infants and elderly)
  • Effortless to replace (more so than wood and tile)
  • Hides some irregularities in subflooring that might not be likely with a tile floor (without correction)

CONS

  • Less effective as other surfaces for radiant heat systems (as a result of insulating qualities of the carpet and pad) though it is possible with lower-insulating cushions
  • Stains a lot more readily and spills are harder to clean up as opposed to hard surface areas
  • Harbors allergens and dust unless routinely vacuumed and cleaned (dirt and allergens can also be ground into the carpeting after some time making them much harder to draw out)
  • Potential source of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) triggering poorer indoor quality of air
  • Prone to damage from water/moisture that could trigger mold growth

Finding A Local Flooring Contractor

If you know the type of floor you’re interested in but don’t know a good contractor take a look at Stenhouse Flooring, established in 1981 Stenhouse is a mainstay in Newcastle when it comes to all types of flooring, established in 1981 Stenhouse is an accomplished floorlayer working on projects such as the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool and are long standing members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen. Wood flooring Newcastle, carpet, vinyl, commercial fitting. Stenhouse offers a full service and is a good place to start.

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